Harare (New Ziana) –THE Zimbabwe government is further strengthening its Covid-19 vaccination strategy, including by prioritising unvaccinated learners before schools close for the December holidays.
This is in line with a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) call to maintain vigilance to ensure the end of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last month, the World Health Organisation said the world was now better placed to end the Covid-19 pandemic, as the rollout of vaccines and other therapies had helped to stem deaths and hospitalisations.
As such, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said plans were in place to ramp up the vaccination campaign and to create awareness on maintaining vigilance.
This, she said, was because the government was also concerned about the mismatch between the number of people who had received their first Covid-19 vaccine and those who returned for the second dose.
Zimbabwe rolled out its Covid-19 vaccination campaign early last year using a variety of vaccines manufactured in China, Russia and India.
While Zimbabwe’s vaccination campaign started off on a high note, with large numbers of people turning up for the jabs, complacency soon set in, resulting in a low uptake of the second and third booster jabs.
Arousing government concern are statistics indicating that as at this Monday, a total of 6 531 744 people had received their first Covid19 jab, while 4 885 548 had received their second one, and 1 159 989 their third dose.
“The gap between first and second dose vaccination remains a grave concern. The public is urged to get vaccinated for the 2nd and 3rd doses,” Mutsvangwa said.
“Accordingly, provinces will continue to strengthen Covid-19 vaccination and prioritize schools to ensure that all eligible students are vaccinated before the end of the school term.”
The pandemic has killed over 6 million people globally since it broke out in China in late 2019, while infecting over 600 million.
In Zimbabwe, the cumulative Covid-19 cases reached 257 568 as at this Monday, with 251 591 recoveries and 5 603 deaths.
“The recovery rate was 98 percent with 374 active cases recorded. A total of 30 new cases were recorded during the week, compared to 196 the previous week. The decrease shows that government containment measures are bearing fruit.”